Obviously the big story of the past 24 hours has been the State of the Union Address. I don’t really have a lot to add to it. Even though I make it a point to watch State of the Union Addresses, they’re all kind of…boring.
I don’t know that I categorize them as political pep rallies, but they always tend to be pretty partisan. You could pretty much tell where the Democrats were last night by the standing ovations. And guess what? If you watched Fox News, I”m sure the general consensus was that it was okay at best, and if you watched MSNBC then the general consensus was it was pretty good at worst. Nobody’s breaking new ground here.
But I feel like it’s my duty as a good American to see what the President has to say, then watch the response from the opposition party – or, in this responses. You want analysis? You’re gonna find a lot better elsewhere, so I won’t even try that. Here, though, are some random musings.
I actually did like President Obama’s address, but that’s par for the course. The man can flat give a speech. I appreciated the focus on education, obviously, and noticed the reaches across the aisle to show a willingness to work with Republicans. I loved the salmon joke. Fantastic. This wasn’t his best speech as President, but I thought it did the job.
Paul Ryan’s response was something I was actually looking forward to. What little I know about the Wisconsin Republican has intrigued me, and he seems like someone capable of being a formidable candidate that would appeal to a younger crowd. His speech, though, felt flat to me. There wasn’t a lot of substance to it. I was also eager to see Michelle Bachmann’s response, and it was just what I expected. The Tea Party Republican from Minnesota relayed the usual platitudes and talking points.
Even though nothing really blew me away last night, there are two things that made me glad I watched:
1. Post-speech fact checks. Find them and use them. (I recommend Fact Checker at The Washington Post in this case. He got both sides.) Non-partisan fact checks are perhaps the greatest tool voters have in this time when voters seem to prefer to get their information from biased media sources. The truth is out there, you just have to be willing to work a little bit to find it.
2. I need to get more active. Bachmann said “Please know how important your calls, visits, and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties.” My representative, Billy Long (*sigh*) told the Springfield News-Leader that everyone he talked to was in favor of him voting to repeal the health care reform act. Clearly he didn’t speak to me. That’s something I can fix. You can, too. Whether you agree with me on issues or not, you can agree with me that – outside of voting – the biggest thing we can do to make sure government is working for us and hearing our voice is to reach out to them.